To assess the impact of the introduction of the Birmingham Children's Hospital (BCH) head injury computed tomography (CT) guidelines, when compared with the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines, on the number of children with head injuries referred from the Emergency Department (ED) undergoing a CT examination of the head.
All children attending BCH ED over a 6-month period with any severity of head injury were included in the study. ED case notes were reviewed and data were collected on a specifically designed proforma. Indications for a CT examination according to both NICE and BCH head injury guidelines and whether or not CT examinations were performed were recorded.
A total of 1428 children attended the BCH ED following a head injury in the 6-month period. The median age was 4 years (range 6 days to 15 years) and 65% were boys. Four percent of children were referred for a CT using BCH guidelines and were appropriately examined. If the NICE guidelines had been strictly adhered to a further 8% of children would have undergone a CT examination of the head. All of these children were discharged without complication. The remaining 88% had no indication for CT examination by either BCH or NICE and appropriately did not undergo CT.
Adherence to the NICE head injury guidelines would have resulted in a three-fold increase in the total number of CT examinations of the head. The BCH head injury guidelines are both safe and appropriate in the setting of a large children's hospital experienced in the management of children with head injuries.
"If the cause of the trauma is not obvious, the patient should be admitted into a neurosurgical unit for adequate surgical treatment.9 Unclear neurological status should indicate that neuroimaging (eg, CT) is necessary, especially in children,19 and that additional imaging (eg, CT angiography, MRI) should be performed if needed. Reducing the risk of a neurological deficit is of the highest priority for the patient, and thus a diagnostic CT scan may be warranted. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In young people, traumatic head and brain injuries are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality. In some cases, no neurological deficits are present, even after penetrating trauma. These patients have a greater risk of suffering from secondary injuries due to secondary infections, brain edema, and hematomas. We present a case report which illustrates that brain injuries that do not induce neurological deficits can still result in a fatal clinical course and death, with medicolegal consequences.
A 19-year-old patient was admitted to hospital suffering from a head injury due to an assault. He reported that he was attacked from behind. Medical examination showed no neurological deficits, and only a small occipital wound. Neuroimaging of the cranium revealed that a knife blade was penetrating the cranial bone and touching the superior sagittal sinus.
After removing the foreign body, magnetic resonance imaging showed that the superior sagittal sinus remained open.
We want to stress that possible problems can arise due to the retention of objects in the cranium, while also highlighting the risk of superficial clinical examination.
International Journal of General Medicine 10/2012; 5:899-902. DOI:10.2147/IJGM.S35925
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death in the pediatric population. The purpose of this review is to highlight recent contributions in evaluation, management, and predictors of outcome in pediatric traumatic brain injury.
Advances have been made in defining the critical Glasgow Coma Score for predicting poor outcome and in developing the Relative Head Injury Severity Score, which can assess severity of traumatic brain injury from administrative datasets. More information regarding the radiation risks of head computed tomography imaging and guidelines for the appropriate use of imaging have recently been evaluated. Important steps have also been taken to reduce secondary brain injury through the use of hypertonic saline and induced hypothermia. There continues to be long-term neurodevelopmental deficits among survivors and new tools to assess these deficits have been developed and tested. Finally, increased investigation into understanding the impact of minority race and socioeconomic status has on outcome following traumatic brain injury has determined the existence of disturbing disparities.
Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of mortality and is a major public health issue in the pediatric population. There have been many recent contributions in the diagnosis, treatment, and long-term morbidity of traumatic brain injury. Ongoing work is needed to improve outcomes of traumatic brain injury equitably for all patients.
Current opinion in pediatrics 07/2008; 20(3):294-9. DOI:10.1097/MOP.0b013e3282ff0dfa · 2.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: According to the literature, serum beta-natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels have been shown to increase in adult trauma patients, specifically for those with traumatic brain injury and in those with intracranial hemorrhage. It has been suggested that BNP levels may be an ideal serum marker for traumatic brain injury. It may save time and radiation if the levels correlated with head computed tomography (CT) scan findings, especially for pediatric patients who have higher radiation risks. We hypothesized that serum BNP levels would be elevated in patients with intracranial bleeding on head CT.
Serum BNP levels were drawn from 95 consecutive "Level I status" pediatric trauma patients immediately on presentation to the emergency department. These patients had high impact mechanisms, were altered, or were physiologically unstable. The findings of head CTs were recorded. Patients were subsequently divided into a negative bleed or positive bleed group. Clinical data such as Glasgow Coma Scale, loss of consciousness, and hospital course were collected. Results were compared using Wilcoxon rank sum test and Spearman correlation coefficients.
BNP levels did not increase significantly in the positive bleed group (n = 21) compared with the negative bleed group (n = 74) (p = 0.48). BNP levels did not correlate with loss of consciousness, Glasgow Coma Scale, Injury Severity Score, or hospital stay.
BNP levels drawn at the time of the emergency department visit do not seem to be a predictor for intracranial hemorrhage in pediatric trauma patients. A head CT still remains the best diagnostic study for diagnosing intracranial hemorrhage.
The Journal of trauma 06/2010; 68(6):1401-5. DOI:10.1097/TA.0b013e3181bb9a87 · 2.96 Impact Factor
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